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Crock Pot Fondue For Some Classic Dipping

Crock pots are perfect for making fondue from a number of different elements, most importantly oil, cheese, and chocolate. Read on to discover how useful your appliance can be in helping you cook up some delicious fondue favorites for you and your guests.

Think of fondue and youíll be thinking of three basic cooking elements: oil, cheese, or chocolate. All three of these can be heated in a crock pot, so using a crock pot for fondue is a sensible solution.

Crock pots are portable and can keep foods at a steady temperature for long periods of time. Also, consider the fact that crock pots donít use an exposed flame, so the surface stays cooler to the touch. Itís the perfect accessory for a party-time fondue. Hereís how to create your own fondue using one of three basic elements.

Cheese Fondue

Want to make a cheese fondue in your crock pot? Pay attention to the type of cheese you intend to use, because some are better for fondue than others. How easily does the cheese melt? Will it become stringy or release lots of excess oil when heated? What about flavor? Will it be smoky, sharp, or salty?

These are the kind of questions you should ask yourself when choosing cheeses for fondue. If you donít know, ask a grocer or do an online search to find out. Basic recipes call for cheeses like Gruyere, Swiss, or sharp Cheddar, often mixed with other ingredients like garlic, white wine, or even a touch of flour to help bind the cheese at high temperatures.

Next comes the consideration of the types of food youíll be dipping with. Hearty bread chunks come to mind first, but what else dips well in melted cheese? Fresh vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli come to mind, but there are many other delicious choices. How about some sweet red bell peppers or even Granny Smith apples, for example? Part of the fun of making fondue is finding new things to try in the melting pot.

Chocolate Fondue

Chocolate fondue is a crowd pleaser that works as a dessert or an appetizer. Slow cookers are excellent choices for chocolate fondue because they melt the chocolate at a low, steady temperature, reducing the risk of scalding. This also keeps chocolate in a liquid state for longer periods of time. Melt chunks of chocolate with a little cream for a simple fondue, or spice it up a bit with ingredients like liqueurs, coffee, or even a pinch of chili pepper.

People have their own preferences as to what tastes good dipped in chocolate. Strawberries are the first thing that comes to mind for most, but a number of other fruits like bananas, cherries, apples, and pineapple also work well. You can dip chunks of bread or hearty cake varieties like Angel Food or Pound cake.

Light snacks like vanilla wafers or pretzels also make good partners for chocolate fondue. You might have to be creative in finding utensils to dip them with, but a little experimentation will help.

Fondue with Oil

Making fondue with oil is tricky, and can be downright dangerous if youíre not careful. One small bump with a tiny fondue pot on tiny legs and the whole pot could easily tip over. This is why a crock pot makes sense for this type of fondue; itís a sturdy and stable container that isnít likely to tip over.

Another advantage to a crock pot is that it will hold the oil at a steady temperature, which is crucial for this type of fondue. You can easily bring the oil up to temperature, then hold the heat steady until youíre finished cooking.

Each crock pot is different, however, and you may only have a high and low setting to choose from. Experiment before the party for best results, and stick with a high-heat oil like peanut oil, to keep a smoky crock pot from ruining your creations.

Meat and seafood are the best choices for fondue with oil, like lean cuts of beef tenderloin. Slice the meats into uniform pieces, and select smaller shrimp to ensure they cook thoroughly in the high heat. You can include some of the heartier vegetables like mushrooms to complete an entire fondue meal.

Raw foods should sit for a bit at room temperature, which keeps the oil from dropping in temperature and creating a soggy or undercooked finished product. If you want a healthier option for heavy oils, you can substitute a clear broth for fondue favorites with less fat and calories.

Crock pots are extremely versatile, and are a perfect accompaniment for a variety of fondue dishes that will keep your guests entertained and satisfied for an entire evening. Whether it is chocolate, cheese, or oil, your crock pot can handle your next fondue party in style.

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